John Gruber remarking on Dan Frommer’s post on the iPad mini being the “real iPad”:
I think the 9.7-inch size was better to start with conceptually, to establish the iPad in consumers’ minds as something they might want to own. The biggest complaint about the original iPad upon its unveiling was that it was nothing more than a “big iPhone”. That would have been an even bigger complaint if they’d launched with the smaller 7.9-inch display instead. The bigger difference in physical size made it even more likely that developers would do the work to create iPad-optimized versions of their iPhone apps, too.
Had Apple initially launched a 7.9-inch iPad, I actually think it may have failed. It simply would have been deemed too close in size to the iPhone/iPod touch. “Tablets make no sense” yadda yadda.
It took the 9.7-inch as a sort of proof-of-concept and perhaps just as importantly, a catalyst to get developers thinking about the tablet as different from the smartphone. The iPad mini directly benefits from both developers and consumers now willing to think differently.
This response and comment goes against every business concept ever, including Jobs’ own ideals. How did Apple succeed initially? Not because they sold computers and operating systems; people were too scared to buy such a foreign device for such a high price. So what did Apple do? They lured in consumers, who otherwise may have never used an Apple product, with the iPod and then they forced those who used the iPod to stick with Apple with the release of their “digital hub” aka iTunes. The correct concept here is that the touchpad (iPad), being so radically different than anything anyone had really ever used, should have been released as the mini first. This would have lured many people in because it would have been, by far, the cheapest item on the market, still very high quality and not have scared people away like the full sized, overpriced iPad. Now, your response to this is probably something like, “They sold 100million iPads”. Yes, this is a lot, but imagine how many mini’s they would have sold if the mini was in fact the first one released. Concluding my point, when they would release the full sized iPad second, people would have came in droves to stand in line and pre-order their device because they had loved their small, but amazing previous device.